Standardization of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) ETSI prepares for the next wave - Communications for 50bn connected devices!

ETSI Headquarters, Sophia Antipolis, France - 9 June 2008

A highly successful workshop on Machine-to-Machine communications held at ETSI HQ 4 - 5 June 2008 attracted over 100 delegates from all sectors of this fast-growing market including telecommunications operators, network equipment vendors, M2M solution providers and the automotive and wireless sensor industries.

The M2M communications market presents astonishing opportunities and unique challenges.  There are more than 3bn mobile phone users on the planet out of a population of 7bn but this pales in significance next to the potential market of over 50bn devices of all types to be connected, of which only 50m are currently connected. Such devices vary from highly mobile vehicles needing to communicate in real-time, to immobile meter-reading appliances which send small amounts of data sporadically. Current telecoms networks were not designed with these new types of ‘Users' in mind.

The ETSI M2M workshop considered such issues as the:

  • Wide choice of wireless sensor technologies
  • Challenges involved in addressing billions of devices
  • Subscription management of huge fleets of devices
  • Potential for a mass consumer market driven by personal sensor networks accessible via mobile phones

Several standards bodies have a role to play in M2M standardization and ETSI members at the workshop have accepted the need to co-ordinate their participation in these different groups. Accordingly, ETSI will propose the establishment of an M2M standardization focus group as a platform for the exchange of requirements and proposals, and for the development of a co-ordinated approach to M2M standardization.

Bernard Dugerdil, Freescale Semiconductor and ETSI Board member said:

"The conclusion of this successful M2M workshop marks an important milestone for the M2M ETSI Board strategic initiative, which is a strategic topic for ETSI overall. I have no doubt that with the momentum shown during this event ETSI will play a key role in standardization in this fantastic M2M market."

Joachim Koss, Head of Approvals & Standards, Cinterion Wireless Modules GmbH said:

"All speakers forecasted very high market potential in machine-to-machine communication and presented many excellent application examples.

M2M communications is a complex area in which standardization in particular can help to structure and enable interoperability between devices, gateways and services for point-to-point and networked applications. I foresee a lot of work to do and very much appreciate ETSI declaring this a strategic topic."

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About ETSI
ETSI produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, converged, broadcast and internet technologies and is officially recognized by the European Commission as a European Standards Organization. ETSI is a not-for-profit organization whose 700 ETSI member organizations benefit from direct participation and are drawn from 62 countries across 5 continents worldwide.
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